From 2018-2021, a demonstration site trial at Harvest Farms in Richmond, Tasmania explored the impact of organic soil amendments on baby leaf crop quality and yield.
Potential benefits were observed from the compost in relation to nutrients (e.g. phosphorus and potassium availability), soil carbon levels and soil moisture holding capacity. However, results should be viewed with care given the trial was not fully replicated.
While benefits of using compost can be observed within the first year after application in some situations, it can take years of regular applications to see clearly observable benefits. This applies if the soil has been low in organic matter to start with, had other limitations to productivity, tillage occurs frequently, and crop rotation is limited.
At this demonstration site, regular application of relatively high rates of compost may be required, to achieve the desired effects. However, this might not be economically viable, if compost has to be bought at standard commercial costs. On the other hand, intensive production without attention to maintaining soil health may limit productivity.